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Short-Course Chemotherapy for Extrapulmonary Tuberculosis: Nine Years' Experience

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Asim K. Dutt, M.D.; Tuberculosis Program, Arkansas Department of Health, 4815 W. Markham; Little Rock, AR 72201.

Little Rock, Arkansas

© 1986 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1986;104(1):7-12. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-104-1-7
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Short-course chemotherapy with isoniazid and rifampin is well established for pulmonary tuberculosis but not yet for extrapulmonary disease. We report our 9-year experience with short-course chemotherapy in treating 350 patients; 402 extrapulmonary sites were involved. Therapy was largely self-administered with careful monitoring by local public health nurses. Administration of drugs was directly supervised in less than 2% of patients. Short-course chemotherapy with isoniazid and rifampin for 9 months was successful in 95% of patients, equivalent to conventional therapy with two to three drugs for 18 to 24 months. It was found that early drainage and complete debridement of necrotic material in bone lesions enhances healing. Short-course chemotherapy has excellent patient acceptance, short duration, fewer doses, and modest toxicity. Our largely twice-weekly regimen has the additional advantages of reduced cost, fewer doses, and ease of supervision when needed.





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